Irish Foreign Minister seeks to impose EU-wide settlement boycott and ban settlers

No to boycott of Israel and settlements

Say No to boycott of Israel and settlements

A few weeks ago the Irish Times (h/t Eirael and Elder of Ziyon) published an article in which the Irish Foreign Minister, not previously known for his pro-Israel stance, set out his one-sided agenda which, worryingly, he seeks to promote within the EU when Ireland receives the rotating Presidency in a few months:

TÁNAISTE EAMON Gilmore has said Ireland may push for the EU to ban goods from Israeli settlements if Israel does not quickly change its settlements policy in Palestinian territories.

Mr Gilmore has also said the Government may seek to have certain extremist settlers banned from the EU if they do not stop their violence in settlement areas.

The Tánaiste was speaking in Brussels after EU foreign ministers unanimously agreed to issue a communique saying the settlements threaten to make a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict impossible. The ministers decried “the marked acceleration of settlement construction” following a 2010 moratorium, and criticised evictions and demolitions in east Jerusalem. “It’s a very strong statement, particularly in relation to the illegal settlements on the West Bank, which are making the achievement of a two-state solution in the Middle East impossible,” Mr Gilmore said.


“I think we may have to look at the question of banning products from settlement areas into the EU. We have always resisted the idea of boycotts in relation to Israel. But I think a distinction has to be drawn here between Israel and the settlements.”

Mr Gilmore said he spoke for the Government on these points. Asked if he thought Ireland’s presidency of the EU next year would provide a platform to advance the Government’s case, he said: “I do, yes.” ‘

Israel said the EU conclusions included a long list of claims and criticism “which are based on a partial, biased and one-sided depiction of realities on the ground”.

Blogger (and regular commenter on this site) Robert Harris, who blogs at Eirael and Crethi Plethi, has written an excellently researched analysis of the proposed boycott, its background, and the implications of its further spread to the EU.  I will just quote some excerpts (all emphases are mine) because it is quite a long read, but go to his blog and read the whole thing. It will shock and depress you but it is necessary to know whom and what we are fighting.

Robert first addresses the proposed boycott itself:

Gilmore also seeks the banning of some Jewish settlers from entering the EU due to “violence”:

Mr Gilmore has also said the Government may seek to have certain extremist settlers banned from the EU if they do not stop their violence in settlement areas. […]
“I think at that stage if there isn’t a change in Israeli policy in relation to settlements in particular, I think we may have to look at some additional measures,” the Tánaiste said.

These “additional measures” are largely left unsaid but if he wishes to censure settler communities then it is possible they will be treated in a similar fashion to terrorist organisations. He may suggest proscribing settler advocacy groups, individuals convicted of violence against Palestinians, and even those associated with activism. Somewhat similar ideas were proposed by EU diplomats in an official report last year, concerning “settlers” in East Jerusalem.

The statement is of note as Gilmore said he spoke for the Government, and their policy will be pursued further when Ireland gets the rotating EU presidency next January.

Robert next addresses the timing of the boycott proposal, which is not as random as one might have thought:

Gilmore announced his boycott proposal on May 14th, immediately after a meeting with his European ministerial counterparts, where he may have discussed the idea. The meeting led to the issuing of a particularly antagonistic statement on Jewish settlements in the West Bank, where the EU effectively accused Israel of ethnic cleansing, especially in relation to the small Palestinian minority in Area C, which represents a few percent of its West Bank populace.

The EU threatened Israel’s authority by refusing to accept Israeli planning law in relation to Area C of the contested West Bank, asserting the legitimacy of illegal Palestinian development. Area C is under Israel’s control via the Oslo treaty, until a peace deal is signed.
Coinciding with Gilmore’s proposal, the ministers issued their communiqué on the eve of Naqba Day, a day commonly seen as a protest against Israel’s very creation in 1948. The date seems unduly coincidential, especially when considering it was the eve of the first anniversary of Naqba Day 2011, notable for causing the worst violence of the conflict the year previously. Thus, its issuing was in part likely to be a detrimental gesture of appeasement.

Next to be addressed is the context of the proposed boycott:

Gilmore’s proposal appears to be an expansion of a prior report issued in 2011. Consular officials heading the EU diplomatic missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah issued a report calling for East Jerusalem to be treated as the capital of a Palestinian state. …

The report recommends that EU officials and politicians refuse to visit government offices located beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines, and decline any Israeli security in East Jerusalem. The document proposes that visiting EU officials should not avail of any Israeli businesses that operate in East Jerusalem, nor archaeological sites operated by “pro-settler organizations.”
It advocates an EU presence at house evacuations and demolitions, court hearings, and to “ensure EU intervention when Palestinians are arrested or intimidated by Israeli authorities for peaceful cultural, social or political activities in East Jerusalem.”

Some commentators felt the severity of the report, including its focus on practical overtly intrusive actions harmful to the State, represented the first concrete steps toward the EU instituting sanctions against Israel in its entirety.The Palestinian Authority also campaigns forcefully for the boycott of the settlements even though a boycott runs counter to the Oslo Accords where trade barriers are to be avoided.

Robert Harris then asks if the settlements prevent peace in the first place:

It would seem that Gilmore has accepted Abbas’ excuses for not coming to the peace table, by exaggerating rather absurdly the scale of the settlements, which merely represent around 2% of the West Bank.
Thus, the Palestinians are simply play-acting, using the settlement issue as little more than a ruse to avoid talking peace.

He turns his attention to the legality of the settlements too:

The legal status of the settlements is actually far more complex than Gilmore et al allow. Article Six of the British Mandate established the legal precedent for permitting close Jewish settlement Eastward to the Jordan River but the mandated administration never properly discharged its mission. Moreover, the UN is not entitled to declare settlements illegal. Article 80 of the Charter prevents prior international bodies being overruled.

Robert takes FM Gilmore to task for his hypocrisy, albeit without accusing him of overt anti-Semitism:

While in front of news cameras, Netanyahu asked Gilmore at considerable length to criticise Palestinian incitement. Gilmore, who has been intensely vocal about Jewish settlements for a long time, pointedly failed to even briefly mention the issue of incitement, nor the then recent glorification of the killers of the Fogel family on PA television.
Gilmore often asserts that he is not anti-Israeli, that he merely speaks up for Palestinian rights. However, he cannot have it both ways. Anyone who advocates a boycott against Israeli settlers is anti-Israeli, even if they draw a sharp distinction with an overall boycott and seek a two-state solution, if they do not seek censure of the Palestinian side as well.

Robert Harris now comes to the meat of the article, when he writes about the “EU’s manifest hatred of the Jewish State”:

The EU/EEC has been hostile to Israel for decades. Their stance has been defined by self-interest, rather than any concerns over humanitarianism. Initially, fears over oil security, particularly after the OPEC crisis, were intensified by a keener hostility from the French and Irish, both of which desired to court the Arab world economically. Since 9/11, oil security melded with a great concern over Islamism, due to an ever-increasing Muslim presence in Europe.The EU issue frequent reports, which are derived from sources known to be highly prejudicial, that perpetuate many untruths about the conflict. It displays a shockingly lax attitude toward terrorism and the incitement of violence.

They demanded that the EU reiterate its position that it will not recognise any changes to the June 1967 Israeli boundaries, that a Palestinian state must be “territory equivalent to 100% of the territory occupied in 1967”, its capital East Jerusalem. They wanted the EU to give Israel an ultimatum that if their demands were not met in six months, the EU would seek an end to the US peace process in favour of a UN solution!This oddly pugnacious attitude toward Israel stands in stark contrast to its soft approach to that of other conflicts, the only exception being the present civil war in Syria, albeit a conflict on a very different scale, where at least 10,000 civilians have been killed, 65,000+ are missing, and 200,000+ imprisoned,

As to EU funding for Palestinians, they seem to have very little interest in where their money goes and to what ends:

Indeed, the EU has for a long time displayed a bizarrely disinterested attitude with regard to its funding. Of the enormous sums it sends to the PA, it has been noted for some time that a very substantial portion goes to terrorists and the families of “martyrs”.

In fact, Commentary Magazine addressed just this issue last week:

Itamar Marcus and the folks at Palestinian Media Watch do what every single diplomat and foreign ministry engaging or funding the Palestinian Authority (PA) should: Watch Palestinian television to see what the PA is saying. Today, they release two shockers.

First, this, showing what European Union cash sponsors:

PA TV program for youth, Speak Up, glorified the 91 terrorists saying they were: “More honored than all of us… They are the greatest role models for us.” The TV program is co-produced by PA TV and PYALARA, an NGO for youth funded by the EU, Save the Children and other international donors.

Of course, the United Nations is not far behind:

A Palestinian NGO, the Burj Luq-Luq Social Center Society organization, performed a puppet show for children in East Jerusalem to promote non-smoking. The educational message delivered by the puppets instructed children to replace cigarettes with machine guns:

Elder of Ziyon also writes about the same subject

As PalWatch notes, Pyalara is funded by the EU and Western NGOs

But Pyalara goes beyond glorifying terrorists and teaches its children actual anti-semitism.

Returning to Robert Harris’s article, he comes to the following sad conclusion:

The EU’s extraordinary behaviour toward Israel could be characterised as if they see the Jewish State as a wayward colony, over which they have some sort of entitlement, It manifests as an arrogance that often crosses into bullying.


It needs to be pointed out that the grievance felt by many Palestinian Arabs is not driven by the settlement issue. It has been shown repeatedly, such as in polls, that a majority do not seek a long-term peaceful co-existence with Israeli’s.

This conflict is not about the settlements. It is about Israel’s existence in Dar al-Islam. The flat denial that Islamism is the true force behind the violence against Israel, when we see the effects of it blighting Africa and Asia on a daily basis in the news, is an affront to the truth. Why is the West willing to hand it over, akin to Czechoslovakia in 1938?

It is an effort to isolate Israel from the Greater Western sphere, an effort by Europeans to shield themselves from the Islamism that threatens them due to an ever-growing Muslim populace.

Again, I highly recommend that you invest the time to read the whole article. You will be outraged and saddened, but it will be an education.

At the top of this post I have inserted a picture banner, designed by Crethi Plethi, which when you click on it, will take you to an online petition saying “No” to any boycott of Israel.  Please sign the petition and show your support for Israel.  I have placed this banner in my sidebar on the right too which will stay up as long as this issue is relevant.

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14 Responses to Irish Foreign Minister seeks to impose EU-wide settlement boycott and ban settlers

  1. Roxymuzak says:

    Good point about European taxpayers funding terror. The repellent Arafat robbed millions of said donations. Most wound up in his Suha’s – his wife – account. At one stage she was slumming it on the entire top floor of leading Parisian Hotel at a cost of 16,000 doubloons a night. She had/has millions in her account, all robbed from the Palestine. I guess it’s better her blowing the money on hotels than her compatriots buying Katushas out of it.

    Sob! Poor old Suha has to slum it around Europe with only a couple of million in her account. She rarely visited Palestine. Then again, if you were a woman and part of your visit involved having to shag Arafat, would you?

    I would urge people not to donate to anything to do with Palestine. They will either rob it or use it to murder Israeli Jews and Arabs. Gilmore is typical of some on the Irish left. They intellectualized themselves to the point of delirium on this subject and they they are now slowly, but surely, beginning to disappear up their own anal regions.

    • anneinpt says:

      Excellent points Roxymuzak. The corruption of PA officials and their free hand with their aid money is beyond belief. Just last week an Arafat henchman was arrested in connection with the theft of aid money. But that’s a drop in the ocean. As you say, people should stop giving money until there are much stricter controls in place. With the EU as chief donor that will never happen, but individuals can take action. Or rather, non-action, i.e. non-donation.

      And of course, the “aid” money doesn’t actually get used to aid the poor Palestinian citizens themselves. It goes to line the pockets of their leaders or pay for arms to kill Israelis.

  2. Rob Harris says:

    Hi Anne, thanks very much for such a postive review of the article – I hope it deserves such praise 🙂 Your synopsis gets to the heart of it. The coverage of EU funding is valuable – and didn’t feature enough of it in my article. Its easy to ignore/forget the EU when the UN is so bad but this baiting is so bad and has gone on so long I felt it was justified to describe it was a “war” of a sort.

    Its bad enough telling lies about Israel but I think it is an outrage that the EU spends so much in taxes on inciting hate against the Jewish State. That’s enough to expel Israel’s EU ambassador but of course it would then be an excuse for the EU to slap a boycott on Israel in response.

    Roxy: you should write an article on Arafat’s (much) better half sometime. It would be a fun read!

    • anneinpt says:

      Thanks should go to you Rob for all your hard work. I just reposted it here. Kol hakavod on all your research and writing.

      The hypocrisy of the EU and their blatant anti-Israelism is something I want to go into in more depth (though I will need a shower afterwards!).

  3. Adam says:

    One would think that EU apparatchiks had more pressing matters to deal with…like the collapse of the entire European project which we are currently witnessing.

    Hatred even trumps self preservation.

    • anneinpt says:

      Adam, your last sentence sums up the entire anti-Israel movement, whether from Europe, BDS-ers, Palestinians, the Arabs in general, and common-or-garden antisemites.

  4. reality says:

    I laughed even though its really not funny when I read that “settlers may not be allowed to visit Ireland (not such an awful thing by the way!) as they may be violent”. This comes from the country who supported the IRA who in turn supported various Arab terrorist groups. I suggest Israel prints up a list soon as too whom it is not interested in having visit our country.

    • anneinpt says:

      Very good point about the IRA and their support for the PLO (or was it vice versa?).

      I also found it funny in a sad way that they want to ban settlers. How will they know who is a settler? By looking at their Israeli passports? It doesn’t say where someone lives. And what about Jerusalem? Do they have a street map where the dividing wall ran through? They are antisemitic idiots.

      • Rob Harris says:

        Reality, I’m sure most settlers wouldn’t shed much in the way of tears at not being allowed to visit Ireland lol but its supposed to be an EU wide proscription. BTW I read a few times that Irish culture is surprisingly popular in Israel but maybe Anne can clarify…

        Anne, I suspect that the EU would proscribe “violent/extremist” settlers and groups on an individualistic basis through some sort of blacklisting process. Thats the impression I got when reading the other proposal about banning settlers from Jerusalem. The fact that the EU is taking an ever intensive interest in even individual cases, even attending court cases and protests, also points to this being the method they might utilise.

  5. Roxymuzak says:

    Reality -, The vast majority of Irish people didn’t support the IRA and their terror campaign in Northern Ireland. Their irredentist claim was/is – they haven’t gone away you know – similar to the Palestinians actually – although Palestine is the ancestral homeland of the Jews – in that the target was to bomb and murder their way to a united Ireland. We even had a territorial claim enshrined in our Constitution laying claim to Northern Ireland. Likewise with the Palestinians, ref Hamas charter, who want to replace the only Jewish state in the world with the 23rd Arab state. Ireland’s territorial claim over Northern Ireland went with the introduction of the Good Friday agreement. There is relative peace now, as long as Rangers don’t win the European Cup of course……..You are correct to say that the IRA and the PLO were in cahoots, although I doubt that Gerry Adams’ wife – unlike Suha Arafat – has millions of dollars in her account siphoned off from donations for the “cause.” Gaddafi, the former Libyan transvestite, was supplying the IRA with arms.

    Rob, I’ll pass on that piece about Suha, least they put out a contract on me, although I would urge people to read this excellent blog and your own work for enlightenment on this subject. Young
    people have to start thinking their way back out of this pro Palestinian nonsense. They should remember that when the mob are heading toward the edge of the cliff that the person going the other way will always look as if he is traveling in the wrong direction. The Palestinians, a majority of them, are pursuing an anti-Semitic culture of death and nihilism. Years back I though it was cool to support the IRA, God forgive me. But good men like Conor Cruise O’Brien intellectually decommissioned the IRA and their fellow travelers courtesy of his writings and we were left with no option but to see the error of our ways. Pro Israel sites like this and Rob’s are now doing brilliant work and are intellectually decommissioning Islamic terror. Long may they continue. May the road rise with you.

    • anneinpt says:

      Roxymuzak, thanks for your detailed reply and all the clarifications re the IRA. We are obviously not as well informed, out here in the Middle East, as you are at Irish “ground zero”. I suppose we really ought to educate ourselves more, but we can hardly keep up with our own crazies let alone those on the other side of the world.

      Sigh… Conor Cruise O’Brien – he was a hero of mine and of all Israel supporters. His loss is greatly mourned.

      And thanks for the compliments. :-). (By the way I took the liberty of editing your comment – you had posted it all 3 times. Your computer must have hiccups!).

    • Rob Harris says:

      Hi Roxy, thanks very much for the compliment re. my blog. Unfortunately I know that my contribution makes little difference, a very marginal one at best. Still though I think its worth it. If you ever change your mind and feel like writing something send it to Harald of who seeks original content for his site. If you avoid spreading around that you wrote the article, it shouldn’t backfire on you with the overly-zealous pro-Palestinian crowd over here finding out. I agree with your take on the IRA, only thing I would say is that they were not quite as debased as the Palestinians. What you say about Conor Cruise O’Brien is very true. He was a great man.

  6. Roxymuzak says:

    Thanks for that, my PC is gone a bit wonky alright, hic.

  7. Hunter says:

    I would like to boycott Irish products however I do not know of any worth buying to boycott.

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